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Syria 37, U.s. 27, Us 24, John Kerry 15, United States 12, U.n. 12, Afghanistan 11, Damascus 11, Keating 8, Bashar Al Assad 7, Stephan 7, Brianna 6, America 6, Chicago 5, Nato 5, Sarah 5, Jay Carney 4, Miley Cyrus 4, Medicare 4, Washington 4,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    August 26, 2013
    11:00 - 1:01pm PDT  

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the more than two-hour show wrapped with a live katy perry concert under the iconic brooklyn bridge. ♪ >> all right. that was nischelle turner reporting from new york. that is it for me. have a great afternoon. wolf blitzer takes it from here. >> thanks very much, suzanne. i'm wolf blitzer here in washington. we're following special coverage this hour of two significant events happening live in the nation's capital. up first, in just moments, history in the making over at the white house. president obama kbeti inggettino award an army staff sergeant just 33 years old with the nation's highest military recognition, the medal of honor. staff sergeant ty carter will be the fifth living resip sip yent to get the honor for actions in iraq or afghanistan. you're about to hear his chilling story of courage and heroism during a fire fight with militants in afghanistan.
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we'll take you there live. first, any minute now, the secretary of state john kerry will be making a statement on syria. all over this. the alleged use of chemical weapons, nerve gas, used on civilians, women and children. it's the latest in a string of alleged chemical weapons attacks across syria. right now u.n. weapons inspectors, they are inside syria. they are testing soil. earlier today they were fired upon by snipers as they tried to collect samples. for the first time the u.s. now says it has little doubt the assad regime has done the unthinkable. fred pleitgen is standing by in damascus. from the state department, elyse lavin is standing by. let me start with you. the pentagon has moved four warships into the eastern mediterranean right now, not far from the coast of syria. what do folks there at the state department expect to hear from the secretary of state? >> well, wolf, i think very
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quickly he's going to really make a very tough criticism of the regime saying even though those weapons inspectors are on the ground, the administration has pretty already dismissed any conclusions they could make, saying the regime has stalled the inspectors, not really let them get the samples that they need. so really even as the team is on the ground, saying it's useless. but they're also going to say they are pretty sure that chemical weapons were used by the regime. this is an issue of international law. and that basically it has to be responded to. so i think he's going to talk about how the u.s. is putting together, talking with its allies, and trying to come up with a punitive response. >> we expect the secretary of state to be walking into the press briefing room over there at the state department any minute now. we'll get his statement. we'll see if he answers reporters' questions at the same time. let's go to damascus. fred pleitgen is on the ground in damascus right now. tell us, first of all, what's going on with those u.n.
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inspectors. we know that they were fired upon by snipers as they tried to leave damascus. >> reporter: yeah, wolf. it was actually a really tough day for the u.n. weapons inspectors. first of all, before they even got going the hotel that they're staying in here came under mortar fire. there was a mortar that landed only about four blocks away from that hotel. then they fwot goigot going. they were fired upon. the way the u.n. thame tells ab this incident, they say their convoy, they say they were in the buffer zone when all of the sudden a sniper opened fire on the lead car of that convoy, hitting it several times. the u.n. says it was all deliberate. the vehicle was disabled to a point where it couldn't continue. they had to go back to the hotel that they're staying at, get a new car, and then go into that neighborhood which is held by the opposition. they did manage to get on the ground. the u.n. says, wolf, it was a very productive day for them. there is video of them going to a field hospital, speaking to potential victims of that
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alleged chemical weapons strike. they also said they took some samples, some soil samples. ok, they' of course, they're trying to term first of all what agent might have been used in this chemical attack. >> now, the regime of the president bashar al assad, fred, they acknowledge there were chemical weapons used to kill hundreds of people outside of damascus. but they blame the rebels. they blame the opposition. they blame people they call terrorists. is that right? >> reporter: well, their story keeps changing. some government officials say they're not sure if chemical weapons were ever used. there are a lot of government officials i've spoken to who said if anyone used chemical agents, it would have been the rebels. they also accuse the rebels of using chemical weapons against assad forces here on saturday. they kept telling me, i was on an interview with the deputy foreign minister of this country on sunday, and he said that the syrian military categorically denies ever using chemical weapons on the battlefield and that if anyone did it, that it
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would have been the opposition. they also said that they support the weapons inspectors going out there. however, of course, we've noted the u.s. said that all of this took way too long. that there were delays. and that they believe that a lot of the evidence might now have been tampered with and it might have been compromised. also because of the fact, wolf, that there's been a lot of shelling going on on those areas. we could see that really going on today where you can just see plumes of smoke and you could hear the artillery being fired on the damascus suburbs. and a lot of places, while the inspectors were actually on the ground. then especially after they got back to the hotel that they're staying at, the syrian army really unleashed its cannons then, wolf. >> fred, stand by. i want to get back to you. elise, stand by as well. over at the white house the president is getting ready to deliver the medal of honor to ty carter. jim acosta, set the scene for us. what is about to happen?
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>> reporter: that's right. i just talked to one of our producers who was inside the room right now, wolf. he tells me that from what they're saying inside the east room, there are four living medal of honor recipients in the room as we speak. what makes ty carter so special beyond the fact that he's about to be awarded the medal of honor for conspicuous gal lan tri by the president is he will be another one of those living medal of honor recipients. something that is obviously very rare. our jake tapper has done a lot of reporting on this, wolf. we've all done some reporting on this. this is going to be a very moving ceremony, obviously. ty carter, 33 years old, was involved in a fierce battle in afghanistan on october 3rd, 2009, in which eight soldiers were killed. if you just read the story of why he is receiving this medal of honor, wolf, it is quite extraordinary. some of his fellow soldiers who were involved in this fire fight
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with taliban fighters, they were pinned down and in very dire straits. he ran repeatedly in and out of a situation where he could have been killed and was basically rendering aid to somebody who was severely wounded. and then bringing munitions to other soldiers to help them battle out of that situation. and so this is quite the story of bravery that is going to be recognized in just a few moments by the president, wolf. >> and the president will be speaking at this ceremony. but we know he's also, jim, been very busy worrying about the crisis in syria right now. the reported use of chemical weapons killing hundreds of syrians over the past few days. reportedly by the regime of the syrian president, bashar al assad. we're waiting for the secretary of state. he's about to make a statement over at the briefing room over at the state department. we know the president, he's been meeting with his top national security officials, met with them over the weekend, has been speaking with the european allies, the nato leadership. what's the latest you're hearing
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from over there at the white house? >> reporter: well, wolf, one thing that popped out at a lot of us over here at the white house is that the press briefing with jay carney, white house press secretary, was moved back to 3:00 this afternoon. it was originally scheduled for 12:30 this afternoon. obviously the secretary of state, as you might say, outranks jay carney a litle bit. so he'll be speaking first. then jay carney. wolf, what i think we're going to be hearing from the secretary of state and then later by jay carney is that there has been a measured shift in tone on the part of this administration when it comes to syria. you'll recall there was a lot of trepidation, a lot of caution being expressed by this white house, by this president about getting involved in syria earlier this summer when it was believed that bashar al assad and syrian forces initially crossed president obama's red line that he had drawn to warn against the use of chemical weapons. you'll recall from that interview that president obama did with chris cuomo, the president started to talk in
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ways that, i guess, gave a lot of people the sense that he was starting to gain this out in his mind as to how this would work. then you saw the security briefings happening over the weekend involving the president's national security team. you saw the president then calling some of the major allies, the prime minister of the united kingdom, david cameron. the president of france, president hollande. secretary of state john kerry calling various people, not only among european allies but also in the region. it sort of gives this sense, wolf, that the obama administration is starting to set the stage, starting to make those moves toward military action. one thing we should point out is that house speaker john boehner, i reached out to his office. his office says that the speaker has not yet been consulted on any kind of air strikes. you heard members of congress over the weekend expressing on the sunday talk shows that they believe those strikes are coming, wolf. >> the president's got a major decision to make. we'll get a clue, presumably, from the secretary of state john kerry. momentarily he'll be speaking to
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the media over at the state department. we'll have live coverage of that. we're also awaiting the president of the united states to deliver the medal of honor to ty carter. there you see the east room of the white house where the official guests are awaiting the president. our special coverage will resume just after this. how'd you d9 out of 10.iz today? 9 out of ten? that's great. ♪ nothing says, "i'm happy to see you too," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪ say it with milk-bone.
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the crisis in syria. stand by for that. meantime, america's highest honor for battlefield valor is about to be awarded to an active duty soldier from california. the scene is at the white house east room. we'll go there live when president obama confers the medal of honor on staff sergeant ty michael carter. according to the u.s. army carter proved his medal back in 2009. during an assault by the taliban he risked his own life to save a comrade. this story is told by our own jake tapper.
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>> reporter: october 3rd, 2009. hundreds of taliban fighters are attacking the u.s. troops below them in a valley. combat outpost keating is in chaos. specialist ty carter is pinned down in a disabled humvee with three other troops. brad larson, stephen mace and justin gallegos. >> we all know that sooner or later fire power is going to breach. >> reporter: then they realized the situation is worse than they thought. >> there was insurgents just 30 meters in front of me. >> reporter: in the camp? >> in the camp, yeah. >> reporter: had you already seen them in the camp or not? >> i hadn't seen them. >> sergeant justin gallegos who was trying to help a badly
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wounded specialist stephen mace. >> bullets were impacting all around him. he turned to fire and he was taken down. the bullets hit him and it spun him around and he was down on the ground. >> reporter: but mace is still out there. still alive. just out of reach. >> that's when i said, hey, sergeant larson, mace is alive. ky get to him. he's right there. i think he looked and he says, no, you can't get to him. i said, no, he's right there. i can get to him. i knew he was right. but it ate me up so bad. i need a break. hold on. >> reporter: what a story. there you see live pictures coming in from the white house. the preside getting ready to confer the medal of honor on ty carter. we'll have live coverage of that right after this. [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating...
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congestion, for the smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the buses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution into the air. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment. p president of the united states about to confer the medal of honor to staff sergeant ty carter in a ceremony at the white house. they've just announced the president will be walking into the east room momentarily to -- for this ceremony. this is only the fifth time that a living recipient will get the medal of honor for actions in iraq and afghanistan. here's the president and ty carter. let's listen to this ceremony. ♪
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>> let us pray. almighty gods, from whom our words may cradle, but never contain. from our founding days we acknowledged your providence and prayed your favor on a military force dedicated to defending liberty and justice for all. every generation a continuous line of shed blood and shared sacrifice have born witness to our nation's first principles of virtue, honor and patriotism. oh, god, our hearts are touched with the privilege of bestowing distinguished honor upon an american soldier whose actions sustained his comrades in battle. as we honor staff sergeant ty carter for his actions during the battle, remind us that this simple yet elegant award, when animated by the courage that is born of loyalty to all its noble and worthy, reveals the depth of
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the patriot's love and devotion. today, oh god, our nation pauses to honor an american soldier. give thanks for the memory of the men who fought with him that day. even as we grieve their loss. to give thanks for the strength of his family. be present among us, oh god. increase our faith. renew our hope. that our lives be marked by virtue, honor and patriotism. we ask and pray in your holy name, amen. >> amen. >> good afternoon, everybody. please be seated. welcome to the white house. actually, i should say, welcome back. many of you joined us earlier this year when we presented the medal of honor to clint romesha for his actions in the very same battle that we remember today. clint could not be here. he's engaged this week in a
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cause that is very close to all of our hearts, that's ending homelessness among our veterans. but we are honored to welcome back some of the men who fought that day at combat outpost keating. members of black knight troop. the gold star families of those who gave their lives that day. as these soldiers and families will tell you, they're a family forged in battle and loss and love. so today is something of a reunion. and we come together again with gratitude and pride to bestow the medal of honor on a second member of this family. staff sergeant ty carter. as always, we're joined by many distinguished guests. and we welcome you all. today i want to focus on our most distinguished guests, more than 40 members of ty's family. your parents, mark, paula and
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step mom barbara. your wife, shannon. who you call the ceo of your family. you're a wise man. i've got the same arrangement. your beautiful children, 14-year-old jaden, 8-year-old madison in her new dress, and she was telling me about her new room as we walked over here. and 9-month-old sierra for whom we will try to make this brief. because we don't know how long the cheerios will last. before they came, ty said he was hoping to take his children around washington to show them the sites and the history. but jaden, madison, if you want to know what makes our country truly great, if you want to know what a true american hero looks like, then you don't have to look too far. you just have to look at your dad. because today he's the sight
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we've come to see. your dad inspires us just like all those big monuments and memorials do. for this is a historic day. the first time in nearly half a century, since the vietnam war, that we've been able to present the medal of honor to two survivors of the same battle. indeed, when we paid tribute to clint romesha earlier this year we recalled how he and his team provided the cover that allowed three wounded americans pinned down in a humvee to make their escape. the medal we present today, the soldier that we honor, ty carter is the story of what happened in that humvee. it's the story of what our troops do for each other. as some of you may recall, keating was not just one of the remote outposts in afghanistan, it was also one of the most vulnerable. on low ground. deep in a valley. surrounded by towering mountains. when soldiers like ty arrived, they couldn't believe it.
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they said it was like being in a fish bowl. easy targets for enemies in the hills above. and as dawn broke that october morning with ty and most of our troops still in their bunks, their worst fears became a reality. 53 american soldiers were suddenly surrounded by more than 300 taliban fighters. the outpost was being slammed from every direction. machine gunfire, rocket propelled grenades, mortar, sniper fire. it was chaos. the blizzard of bullets and steel into which ty ran. not once or twice or even a few times, but perhaps ten times. and in doing so, he displayed the essence of true heroism. now, they're urged to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. ty jumped out of bed, put on his boots and helmet and kevlar
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vest, grabbed some ammo and he ran. into bullets coming down like rain for 100 meters to resupply his comrades out in that humvee. when they needed more, he ran back. blasted the locks off supply rooms and sprinted yet again, dodging explosions, darting between craters, back to the humvee. the ferocious fire forced them inside. and so it was that five american soldiers, including ty and specialist stephan mace, found themselves trapped in that humvee. the tires flat. rpgs pouring in. peppering them with shrapnel. threatening to breakthrough the armor of their vehicle. worst of all, taliban fighters were fen trapenetrating the cam. the choice it seemed was simple. stay and die or make a run for it. once more ty stepped out into the barrage and along with sergeant brad larson, he laid down fire, providing cover for the other three. including stephan, as they dashed for safety.
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but in those hellish moments, one man went down. then another. stephan disappeared into the dust and smoke. back in that humvee, ty and brad held out for hours. rolling down the window just a crack, taking a shot over and over. holding the line. preventing that outpost from being completely overrun. ty would later say, we weren't going to surrender. we were going to fight to the last round. then they saw him. their buddy. stephan, on the ground. wounded about 30 yards away. when the moment was right, ty stepped out again. and ran to stephan. applying a tourniquet to one of his legs, bandaging the other, tending to his wounds, grabbing a tree branch to splint his ankle. and if you're left with just one image from that day, let it be
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this. ty carter bending over, picking up stephan mace, cradling him in his arms and carrying him through all those bullets and getting him back to that humvee. then ty stepped out again, recovering a radio. finally making contact with the rest of the troop, and they came up with a plan. as clint romesha and his team provided cover, these three soldiers made their escape. ty, brad carrying stephan on a stretcher through the chaos delivering stephan to the medics. the battle was still not over. so ty returned to the fight. with much of the outpost on fire. flames bearing down on the aid station with so many wounded inside, ty stepped out one last time exposing himself to enemy fire. grabbed a chain saw, cut down a burning tree, saved the aid station and helped to rally his troops as they fought yard by yard. they pushed the enemy back. our soldiers retook their camp.
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now, ty says this award is not mine alone. the battle that day, he will say, was one team and one fight. and everyone did what we could do to keep each other alive. some of these men are with us again. and i have to repeat this because they're among the most highly decorated units of this entire war. 37 army commendation medals. 27 purple hearts. 18 bronze stars for their valor. nine silver stars for their gallantry. so soldiers of camp keating, please stand. [ applause ]
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today we also remember once more the eight extraordinary soldiers who gave their last full measure of devotion. some of whom spent their final moments trying to rescue fy and the others in that humvee. we stand with their families who remind us how far the heartbreak ripples. five wives, widows, who honor their husbands. seven boys and girls who honor their dad. at least 17 parents. mothers and fathers. stepmoms and stepdads who honor their son. some 18 siblings who honor their brother. long after this war is over, these families will still need our love and support. for all the years to come. and i would ask the camp keating families to stand and be recognized, please.
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[ applause ] finally, as we honor ty's courage on the battlefield, i want to recognize his courage in the other battle he has fought. ty has spoken openly, with honesty and extraordinary eloquence, about his struggle with post-traumatic stress.
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the flashbacks. the nightmares. the anxiety. the heart ache that makes it sometimes almost impossible to get through a day. and he's urged us to remember another soldier from camp keating who suffered, too, who eventually lost his own life back home. and who we remember today for his service in afghanistan that day, private ed faulkner jr. at first, like a lot of troops, ty resisted seeking help. but with the support of the army, the encouragement of his commanders, and most importantly, the love of shannon and the kids, ty got help. the pain of that day, i think ty understands and we can only imagine, may never fully go away. but ty stands before us as a loving husband, a devoted father, an exemplary soldier who even redeployed to afghanistan. so now he wants to help other troops in their own recovery and
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it is absolutely critical for us to work with brave young men like ty to put an end to any stigma that keeps more folks from seeking help. so let me say it as clearly as i can. to any of our troops or veterans who are watching and struggling. look at this man. look at this soldier. look at this warrior. he's as tough as they come. if he can find the courage and the strength to not only seek help, but also to speak out about it, to take care of himself and to stay strong, then so can you. so can you. and as you summon that strength, our nation needs to keep summoning the commitment and the resources to make sure we're there when you reach out. because nobody should ever suffer alone. and no one should ever die waiting for the mental health care that they need. that's unacceptable. and all of us have to do better than we're doing. as ty knows, part of the healing
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is facing the sources of pain. as we prepare for the reading of the citation, i'll ask you, ty, to never forget the difference that you've made on that day. because you helped turn back that attack, soldiers are alive today. like your battle buddy in that humvee, brad larson, who told us, i owe ty my life. because you urged -- you've had the urge to serve others at whatever cost, so many army families could welcome home their own sons. and because of you, stephan's mother, vanessa, who joins us again today, is able to say ty brought stephan to safety which in the end gave him many more hours on this earth. stephan felt at peace. she added in the words that speak for all of us, i'm grateful to ty more than words can describe. that's something. god bless you. ty carter and the soldiers of the black knight troop, god bless all our men and women in uniform. god bless the united states of america. with that, i would like to have
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the citation read. >> the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress, march 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to specialist ty m. carter, united states army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity. specialist ty m. carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a scout with bravo
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troop, third squadron, fourth infantry division during combat operations against an armed enemy in kamdesh district, afghanistan, on october 3rd, 2009. on that morning, specialist carter and his comrades awakened to an attack of an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of combat outpost keating. employing concentrated fire from rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small arms fire. specialist carter reinforced a forward battle position, ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition and voluntarily remain there to defend the isolated position. armed with only an m-4 carbing rifle, specialist carter placed accurate, deadly fire on the enemy, beating back the assault force and presenting the position from being overrun over the course of several hours. with complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of his
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own wounds, he ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gunfire to rescue a critically wounded comrade who had been pinned down in an exposed position. specialist carter rendered life extending first aid and carried the soldier to cover. on his own initiative, specialist carter again maneuvered through enemy fire to check on a fallen soldier and recovered the squad's radio which allowed them to coordinate their evacuation with fellow soldiers. with teammates providing covering fire, specialist carter assisted in moving the wounded soldier 100 meters through withering enemy fire to the aid station and before returning to the fight, specialist carter's heroic actions and tactical skill were critical to the defense of combat outpost keating, preventing theturing t saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. specialist ty carter's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond
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the call of duty are in keeping president highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, bravo troop, third squand ron, 61st cavalry regiment, fourth brigade combat team, fourth infantry division and the united states army. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] >> let us pray. oh god who rules the world from ever lasting to ever lasting, speak to our hearts when our courage fails. our sight grows dim. when our bodies may grow weary. the valor we have honored today, keep us resolute and steadfast to things that cannot be shaken. abounding in hope and knowing that our labor is not in vain. keep in our faith in your eternal purpose, renew in us that love which never fails. lift up our eyes to behold
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beyond the things which are seen in temporal. the things which are unseen and eternal. we may be steadfast and loyal always. of this we pray in your holy name, amen. >> thank you very much, everybody. i hope you all enjoy the reception. i want to not only thank ty, but once again thank his extraordinary family, thank his unit, and thank you all of you for us being able to acknowledge the extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make every single day. and ty's representative of exactly the kind of people and the quality of people who are serving us. we are grateful to them. god bless you all. god bless america. [ applause ] >> ty carter receiving the nation's highest military honor, the medal of freedom from the
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president of the united states, the commander in chief. a very moving ceremony, indeed. nick patton walsh, our special correspondent, was in afghanistan in 2009 when all of this was going on. you were there at that outpost not very much before that tragic incident occurred, nick. remind our viewers what was going on in afghanistan around that time. >> reporter: it was the leadup to important elections that were supposed to put hamid karzai back into power with a decent mandate. there was much concern about that time. i remember being in this valley which is kind of far up northeast afghanistan near the pakistani border. very hard to even get to. the helicopters we were flown in on had to look out the window, the pilots, to make sure their blades didn't actually hit the sides of the cliffs as they landed in this extraordinarily steep valley. when you got there you saw this remarkable scene where effectively the base of being --
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a ring of burnt out shells of former soviet armored personnel carriers. soviets having fought a long and nasty war in afghanistan way before the americans even went there. so it was almost like they had taken shelter inside the carcasses of that soviet presence there. the hills constantly lined with rubble and any vantage point you could possibly imagine for the taliban. when we were there we went through about a 45-minute fire fight. a patroller went out from the base on the way back in. they took some fire. landing very close to myself and my cameraman. then the americans simply did what they could which was to light up much of that valley with the impressive fire power they had. but the abiding sentiment i got from speaking to soldiers there was i kept asking them the same question. why are you guys actually here? there was much discussion after that base was overrun, the weeks after i was there, why particularly tactically they'd chosen to put a base and sustain it in such an exposed position.
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i think many people after the extraordinary acts of bravely you've just heard outlined there by barack obama, commander in chief, looked into exactly why they'd chosen this position. the logic was, apparently, that it had been put there by a civilian reconstruction team and then fortified to be a military base and then had been decided that to leave would be a propaganda victory for the taliban. so they stuck it out. but the men i was with enduring remarkable conditions there where they never quite knew when attacks were going to start again. they even put barbed wire up some of the hillsides because they were concerned the taliban may crawl down towards their camp. soldiers were, i heard from soldiers there, afghan soldiers, in fact, shot while going to the bathroom there. a real sense of a base under siege there. but the men continually enduring those conditions and sticking it out, wolf. >> 33 years old. ty carter receiving the medal of honor from the president of the united states. nick paton walsh, stand by.
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we'll take a quick break. we're waiting to hear from the secretary of state, john kerry. he's about to walk into the state department briefing room. you see the reporters. they are there. they're getting ready to hear from the secretary of state on what's going on as far as syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people. [ bottle ] okay, listen up! i'm here to get the lady of the house back on her feet. [ all gasp ] oj, veggies -- you're cool. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here!
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or several days now the president of the united states has been meeting with top national security advisers after reports that the syrian regime of bashar al assad used chemical weapons against its own people, killing hundreds of individuals, men, women and children not far from the syrian capital of damascus. now we're about to hear from the secretary of state, john kerry. he's getting ready to go into the state department briefing room and tell us the latest on what's going on. elise labbot, our foreign affairs reporter. you're getting information about what we may hear from the secretary of state? >> that's right, wolf. you've been hearing all weekend state department and administration, white house officials, saying anonymously that the white house has --
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wolf, you've got to bear in mind, people have to assess what the impact of that will be across the region. you have turkey, its own problems. many syrian refugees. bombs ripping through on one occasion its southern cities. jordan reeling from hundreds of thousands of syrian refugees. its economy already having problems, too. anxious to not be further drawn in, trying to close its border, insulate itself from the damage. iraq, thousands dying each month from a conflict which mirrors what's happening inside syria.
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finally, lebanon. most concerns about what could potentially happen there. a country which has many say teetering on the potential renewed sectarian conflict after that substantial bombing of last week in the northern city of tripoli. a real factor here is the lebanese militants and political faction hezbollah. they've been open how they're fighting inside syria at this particular point. were the united states to introduce itself to this conflict, you may see them take some kind of action. wolf? >> a tough decision for the president of the united states. specially since unlike in libya, the u.n. security council has not authorized the use of military force to deal with the crisis in syria. nick, stand by. elise, stand by as well. when we come back we expect to hear from the secretary of state, john kerry. [ chirp ] all good? [ chirp ] getty up. call me. seriously, this is really happening!
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[ cellphone rings ] hello? it's a giant helicopter ma'am. [ male announcer ] get it done [ chirp ] with the ultra-rugged kyocera torque, the secretary of state is now at the state department. >> -- have been reviewing the situation in syria. today i want to provide an update on our efforts as we consider our response to the use of chemical weapons. what we saw in syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. it defies any code of morality. let me be clear. the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. by any standard, it is inexcusable, and despite the
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excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable. the meaning of this attack goes beyond the conflict in syria itself. and that conflict has already brought so much terrible suffering. this is about the large scale, indiskr indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilized world long ago decided must never be used at all. a conviction shared, even by countries that agree on little else. there is a clear reason that the world has banned entirely the use of chemical weapons. there is a reason the international community has set a clear standard. and why many countries have taken major steps to eradicate these weapons. there is a reason why president obama has made it such a priority to stop the proliferation of these weapons and lock them down where they do exist. there is a reason why president obama has made clear to the
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assad regime that this international norm cannot be violated without consequences. and there is a reason why no matter what you believe about syria, all peoples and all nations who believe in the cause of our common humanity must stand up to assure that there is accountability for the use of chemical weapons so that it never happens again. last night, after speaking with foreign ministers from around the world about the gravity of this situation, i went back and i watched the videos. the videos that anybody can watch in the social media. and i watched them one more gut wrenching time. it is really hard to express in words the human suffering that they lay out before us. as a father, i can't get the image out of my head of a man who held up his dead child, wailing, while chaos swirled around him.
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the images of entire families dead in their beds without a drop of blood or even a visible wound. bodies contorting in spasms. human suffering that we can never ignore or forget. anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass. what is before us today is real. and it is compelling. so i also want to underscore that while investigators are gathering additional evidence on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience, and guided by common sense. the reported number of victims, the reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured, the firsthand accounts from humanitarian organizations on the ground like doctors without borders and the syria human
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rights commission, these all strongly indicate that everything these images are already screaming at us is real. that chemical weapons were used in syria. moreover, we know that the syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons. we know that the syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. we know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. and with our own eyes, we have all of us become witnesses. we have additional information about this attack. and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead. our sense of basic humanity is offended not only by this cowardly crime, but also by the
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scynical attempt to cover it up. at every turn, the syrian regime has failed to cooperate with the u.n. investigation. using it only to stall and to stymie the important effort to bring to light what happened in damascus in the dead of night. and as ban ki-moon said last week, the u.n. investigation will not determine who used these chemical weapons. only whether such weapons were used. a judgment that is already clear to the world. i spoke on thursday with sethe syrian foreign minister. i made it very clear to him that if the regime, as he argued, had nothing to hide, then their response should be immediate, immediate transparency. immediate access. not shelling. their response needed to be unrestricted and immediate access. failure to permit that, i told
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him, would tell its own story. instead, for five days, the syrian regime refused to allow the u.n. investigators access to the site of the attack that would allegedly exonerate them. instead, it attacked the area further. shelling it and systemically destroying evidence. that is not the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide. that is not the action of a regime eager to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons. in fact, the regime's belated decision to allow access is too late. and it's too late to be credible. today's reports of an attack on the u.n. investigators, together with the continued shelling of these very neighborhoods, only further weakens the regime's credibility. at president obama's direction, i've spent many hours over the last few days on the phone with foreign ministers and other leaders. the administration is actively
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consulting with members of congress, and we will continue to have these conversations in the days ahead. president obama has also been in close touch with leaders of our key allies, and the president will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons. make no mistake. president obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people. nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny. thank you. >> so there he is. a powerful statement from the secretary of state, john kerry. making it clear the obama administration has absolutely no doubt that the regime of the syrian president bashar al assad did, in fact, use chemical weapons, chemical warfare, against its own people, killing
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hundreds of them, injuring, wounding many, many more, in the thousands right now. the secretary of state saying this should shock the conscience of the world. this is a moral obscenity. insisting the president and himself, they were consulting others around the world right now on what to do next. the president would be making decisions. but he certainly has a series of options in front of him right now. it was interesting that we also learned that the secretary of state, john kerry, phoned the syrian foreign minister and spoke with him on the phone issuing some tough warnings to the syrian regime. the first direct contact, i suspect, between the highest levels of the u.s. government and the syrian government in some time. we have much to dissect right now. let's go to chris lawrence, our pentagon correspondent. chris, i know that the pentagon, the secretary of defense, chuck hagel, they've put all sorts of military options in front of the president and his top national security team. but they're getting ready.
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they have contingencies in the eastern mediterranean right now. right? >> that's right, wolf. they have three u.s. navy destroyers in the mediterranean. now they have four. late last week they added a fourth. that was a decision by the six fleet commander to keep more assets in the region. and those ships have now moved farther east, closer to syria. that's interesting because they present the option, each arm, with up to 100 tomahawk missiles. these are long range missiles that are designed to hit targets on land from the sea. and probably most importantly, they would not involve putting american or allied pilots anywhere near syrian air space. >> let's get military analysis from a retired u.s. army colonel. thank you for joining us. if the u.s. were to do in syria, let's say, what the u.s. and nato allies did in libya a
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couple years ago, launched the tomahawk cruise missiles, launched air strikes, what would be presumably achieved beyond expressing the deep condemnation of what the syrian regime is now alleged to have done? >> well, a one time strike would just be a punitive measure to tell the syrian government that its actions were morally rep pen henceable and that the international community won't put up with them. what are they going to target? syrian air force? syrian ground forces? chemical weapon storage sites? regime targets, maybe go after bashar al assad himself. that's all the things the administration needs to sort out right now. >> what would the legal authority be, assuming the united nations security council does not approve a resolution authorizing the use of military force because of a russian veto at the security council? what would the legal authority be? >> well, i think it would be a russian and maybe even a chinese veto as well. so the administration will have
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to cobble together some sort of coalition of the willing. and then present it in the form of a responsibility to protect or an rtp issue. that this was a humanitarian crisis hoisted on the syrian people by its government and that the international community therefore has a moral obligation to intervene. >> and is that -- that was something that the -- that bill clinton administration used in bosnia back in the late 1990s. there was no u.n. security council resolution that was passed then. because once again of a russian veto. presumably the same kind of legal argument that was used in bosnia, launching nato airstrikes that you well remember, presumably that same legal argument could be used by president obama now if he decides to use military force? >> that same legal argument, and back in bosnia, of course, they had nato's backing as well. so it's an open question whether they would try to go that route.
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certainly they're going to need turkey's support to do whatever they're going to do. unless it's just launching cruise missiles from ships in the mediterranean. if they want to have a deep and lasting impact, they need to have a wider based coalition. >> stand by, colonel. elise labbot is our foreign affairs correspondent. she covers the state department. it was interesting to me, at least, that the secretary of state said he phoned the syrian foreign minister to make the u.s. position clear about what was going on. i suspect since the u.s. pulled out its ambassador from damascus a long time ago, this is probably the highest level direct contact between the obama administration and the regime of president bashar al assad? >> that's right, wolf. secretary kerry used to be senator kerry. he was one of the senators on the hill who was in touch with the regime. but ambassador ford really was the top official dealing with the regime. even since he left syria earlier
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this year. however, really there's no contact with the regime. what secretary kerry wanted the foreign minister to know was that the u.s. expected those inspectors to get on the ground, even as they said that it was too late, that they had never be able to really get an accurate reading, and let them know that there are going to be consequences. i think what you need to think about now, wolf, is what would any type of u.s. response, international response, what is the goal, what would it accomplish? my sources are telling me there are kind of three-fold here. it's as the general said to punish the regime for use of chemical weapons. make sure he's not -- the regime is not able to use those chemical weapons again. and degrade them in the sense of the opposition, change the balance of -- military balance on the ground. but not too much, wolf. i don't think anybody thinks right now that this is an effort to toll p ba topple bashar al ae
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regime. the opposition is not organized, is not ready to take over leadership of the country. there's a lot of concern that islamists could step in. so i think what you might see in terms of an international response is something that would damage bashar al assad, but would leave him in a weakened state and hopefully make sure that he doesn't use anything of this type of nature again. >> maybe designed to deter the use of chemical weapons down the road. that would be the objective, presumably, in addition to expressing the u.s. condemnation, if the u.s. were to launch some sort of military strike against targets in syria. elise, stand by. nick paton walsh is in new york. he's been to syria on several occasions, based in beirut, knows the situation well. how is this strong statement from the secretary of state likely to be received by the regime in damascus, nick? >> reporter: wolf, you've met the secretary as well. he's normally a very mild mannered, measured man. you can actually sense, i think,
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personal anger in many ways in what he was saying. he referred to how he'd watched one more time the gut wrenching video. also quite clear that the use of chemical weapons by the regime was undeniable. really laying out, i think, a personal case there. a man of some global diplomatic stature perhaps putting his brand, his stamp on the u.s. claim going forward. that will make it clear in the region. one interesting thing he pointed out, one thing he didn't point out, they didn't go into specifics about how they were so sure these weapons had been used. he did say that additional information that they have would be provided in the days ahead. it's clear we're going to see more information from the u.s. forthcoming. whether that would involve some kind of pressure at the u.n. or elsewhere, it's not clear. he referred to the syrian foreign minister very clear that there's no love loss there at all. what we've seen there really is
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the secretary of state personally, i think, angry at this. and desirous of making that sense of drive, which pretty much embodies now the obama administration's position on this, felt globally, wolf. >> the secretary of state making it clear that as far as the obama administration is concerned, the u.s. intelligence community, they have absolutely no doubt that the syrian government of president bashar al assad deliberately used chemical warfare, killing hundreds and injures thousands of its own people not far from the syrian capital of damascus. let me play a clip. once again, here's the secretary of state. >> what we saw in syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. it defies any code of morality. let me be clear. the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.
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by any standard, it is inexcusable. and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable. >> undeniable from the secretary of state. gloria borger is our chief political analyst. gloria, you know, when the secretary of state makes a powerful statement like that, it almost requires the u.s. to go beyond more condemnations, more words, and do something tangibly to underscore that deep anger that is felt here in washington and elsewhere. it almost sets the scene for direct military action. >> it does. >> at least in some measured way. >> it does, wolf. i mean, this is the opposite of diplo speak. this was direct. and it was very compelling. and there was no mistaking the secretary of state's words when he called the evidence real and compelling. and when he said that he knows
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the syrian regime maintains the custody of these weapons. and he said if they had nothing to hide, then their response should have been immediate transparency. instead, there was shelling for days and evidence was apparently destroyed. but he said in any case that the united states knows for a fact that there were chemical weapons used. he also gave a heads up and said, look, the president is going to be making an informed decision about how to respond. he did not give a time line on this. i mean, we know, wolf, that the president is headed to a summit in russia next week. so the window here seems to be getting smaller and smaller. but he did not lay out a timetable. nor should we expect him to, i might add. but he did make it very clear that the president, as he said, believes there must be accountability. and, as he said, the president
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is giving this very serious scrutiny. >> the next few days will be critical as far as the u.s. military response together, presumably, at least, with some of the nato allies. we'll see what unfolds. gloria, thanks very much. we're obviously going to have a lot more coming up later today in "the situation room," 5:00 p.m. eastern. i'll be back for that. in the meantime, a quick break. all the day's other news with brianna keilar right after this.
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breaking news as the u.s. government weighs its response to what secretary of state john kerry just called a moral obscenity. the use of chemical weapons in syria against civilians. we will continue to follow that story this hour. but we're going to bring you some other headlines. in the meantime we're going to begin in california where a monster wildfire is creeping farther into the iconic yosemite national park. the rim fire has scorched an area about the size of chicago,
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swallowing up really everything in its path. some good news today, though. containment is now up to 15%. the city of san francisco, some 150 miles away, is keeping a close eye on this fire. that's because the city gets much of its water supply from a reservoir that's sitting right in the fire's path. cnn's nick valencia is just outside the park in groveland, kra rah. nick, you have been out on the fire lines for days now. what are crews doing to get the upper hand here? >> reporter: hey, brianna, fire officials i've spoken to earlier this morning are very concerned. they're concerned because this fire continues to grow. just in the last few days since we've been here, it's grown more than 30,000 acres. bringing that acreage up to 149,000 plus acreage. as you mentioned, yes, there is positive sides to this. containment is up from 7% to 15%. but there have been some very critical losses. yesterday afternoon according to the u.s. forest service, berkeley campground was lost. why is that important?
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it's about two to three miles from the north entrance of yosemite park. that fire continues its steady march easterly towards hech hech wher hechy. an francisco gets the majority of its power, majority of its water from this reservoir here in hetch hetchy. fire officials are very concerned. they're trying to do their best to keep this fire from further encroaching on that western boundary of yosemit park. we should mention, though, that the fire is still very far away. 30 or 40 miles away from yosemite valley. coming up on critical hours. afternoon hours with the sun up. the wind starts to pick up. the fire creates its own weather system. that wind starts picking up these hot spots and spreading them. i'm not sure if you can see behind me. there's some hot spots still smoldering. inside the ring of fire here,
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around the national forest, fire officials tell us those hot spots could stay smoldering until the snow falls. brianna? >> my goodness. unbelievable. nick valencia, thanks for your report. now, it is back to school time in a lot of places. that includes chicago where thousands of children are going to new schools with fewer teachers. there are also hundreds of adults hired by the city to make sure children crossing into gang infested neighborhoods make it to school alive. our george howell joins us now from chicago. george, chicago has seen drastic budget cuts we've been paying attention to and a high number of gang related killings. it was a violent weekend. can you tell us what happened? >> brianna, absolutely. these safe zones in the neighborhoods, they are considered to be safe areas. even when workers are not on the job protecting kids. but as you mentioned, it was a violent weekend. starting on saturday when we know that the 14-year-old boy was shot and killed just a block
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away from a safe passage route. then on sunday, a 28-year-old man, police say, was shot in the neck. we understand that he is in guarded condition, but he was on a safe passage route. and then consider what happened just a week ago. we understand that five people were shot in front of a church. one of the victims died from that shooting. again, that happened on a safe passage route. now, chicago public officials with the school district, they do point out this important distinction. that none of these shootings happened during school hours. and they say that the safe passage program itself is a successful program because, again, no child has been injured or killed since that program was started, brianna, back in 2009. >> so, george, it's really just an issue of it's a safe passage area, but only during school hours, then? >> well, and that's what some parents are saying. they say, look, what if my child has an after school event to go to? what happens then? one parent that i spoke to said she didn't like the route that was designated in her
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neighborhood. so she made her own safe passage back through the neighborhood. you find some parents finding their own way around this. again, there are some 12,000 students who are now affected by this. 12,000 students who are moved to different schools after layoffs and school closures. and now many of them are looking at different routes to get to school. >> wow. george howell, thank you so much. next, police say an 8-year-old intentionally shot and killed his caregiver after playing a violent video game. do studies show a connection that so many people are drawing from this case? the gaming industry is responding to critics, next. daye knew all about a bike accident, just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too.
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i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. louisiana deputies say an 8-year-old boy shot and killed his 87-year-old babysitter. not by accident as the boy first explained it but with intent. the victim according to affiliate wbrz is the boy's grandmother. the shooting happened thursday. the sheriff says the boy intentionally shot the woman in the back of the head as she sat in her living room. still he won't be charged because the state law exempts kids younger than 10 from criminal responsibility. the motive here, deputies don't know, but sheriff's officials say the boy was playing this at the time. >> welcome to america. >> stop shooting people you maniac! >> he was playing that just minutes before he fired the gun. grand theft auto 4 is rated
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mature, meaning for players who are 17 years and older. and so i'm going to turn now to clinical psychologist david swanson. david, this is drawing a lot of speculation that there is a connection here. do you think it's possible for the video game to have caused or contributed to the boy shooting his caregiver? because sheriff's officials say the two had a loving relationship. >> well, i do think that there's a possibility connection here. and, you know, look, the biggest part of research we knowo far because of all the shootings we have is there's no clear cut connection between violent video games and actual acting out. however, kids this young, when they see episodes of television, when they see video games, they are likely to go ahead and model after what they see on these video games and television. why an 8-year-old was playing a game like you're seeing on your television screen right now is beyond me. this is clearly also a lack of supervision. >> you're saying that there could be an issue here of modeling. obviously, as you can imagine,
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take two interactive, maker of the video game, released a statement. it says ascribing a connection to entertainment, a theory that has been proven -- or disproven repeatedly by multiple independent studies both minimizes this moment and sidesteps the real issues at hand. what do you think about that reaction? and especially when we are talking about this game that is supposed to be played by kids who are 17 years and older? >> yeah. look, a video game industry is going to protect the product that they put out there. they're right. there's no conclusive evidence. but the more that we look into this, there's emerging evidence that suggests that younger kids become desensitized to violence. they start to act out violently in terms of what they see on television. look, i've got three kids. i coach them in basketball. we even had a kid come up to a basketball practice and show me a move he told me afterwards, i saw that on a video game. there's no doubt in my mind as a psychologist with a practice with over 20 years experience that for children, we're going to see that this evidence starts
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to shift and change. that they do model what they see. and that in this case there's likely a connection. >> so you say likely a connection. also there could be other issues here, lack of supervision, you said, might be one of them. i assume there are some others as well that we will be exploring in the days to come. david swanson, thank you. >> thank you. next, more on our breaking news from secretary of state john kerry. just moments ago, he said it is undeniable that the syrian government is using chemical weapons in syria against civilians. and he said the president believes the syrian government should be held accountable. so what does this mean for the u.s. and its allies? we'll have that next. plus, police threaten to arrest members of a church group. what were they doing? feeding the homeless. just like they've done for the past six years. we'll tell you why officers are saying the church is breaking the law. be my favorite. [ female announcer ] welcome to the new aarp. we're ready to help you rediscover purpose and passion with programs like life reimagined
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bottom of the hour. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. let's talk about syria. you may have heard him here a short time ago. secretary of state john kerry
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blasting syria. he said there's no credible doubt the assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people. he said the syrian government will not walk away unpunished. >> president obama has also been in close touch with leaders of our key allies and the president will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons. make no mistake, president obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people. >> a very strong statement from john kerry. but no clear actions outlined. no timetable attached. the u.s. navy -- i should say the u.s. now has foreign naval destroyers in the mediterranean within firing range of syria. hala gorani is joining us from atlanta.
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it looks as though we're talking about a military response. the expectation obviously will be as we've seen in other places like libya, would be that the u.s. would not do this alone. >> no. and we're hearing from france and the united kingdom. they're saying quite clearly, in fact, brianna, that they agree with the u.s. that chemical weapons were used. they agree that there should be a response. there are many phone calls that have taken place over the last 48 to 72 hours as we've heard. we know as well as far as the international response is concerned, moscow once again is very clearly and adamantly stating it does not side with the united states, the uk and france with regards to syria. vladimir putin spoke with david cameron, the prime minister of the united kingdom. we understand from that phone call that vladimir putin said there's no proof that the regime was behind this chemical attack and that there, in fact, is no proof that a chemical attack at this stage until we get results from an investigation took place. there is a division. now the big question, brianna,
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is what will the response be? we've heard from chris lawrence in his reporting at the pentagon that most likely this would be, perhaps, take the form, if it does happen, of a cruise missile attack on some very strategically important locations in syria. it could be runways. it could be depots where chemical arms are stored or that kind of thing. one thing i think people need to remember is this. there is no appetite from western countries for intervention in syria. they had hoped against hope until now that some sort of transition of power could take place. more and more as this war progressed, it became obvious, brianna, that was not going to happen. now i think rather reluctantly some sort of action will take place. what it is, though, still unclear. >> you certainly get that sense, hala, as he's talking about what's happened there being a moral obscenitobscenity. >> if i could add one thing. one of the latest poll numbers we've seen is that here in the united states, americans do not
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want their country involved in syria at all by a lot more than half of respondents. only a tiny fraction of americans when asked say they believe the u.s. should be involved militarily. as you know there's no political pressure on president obama to do anything with syria right now. >> moral pressure seemed to be what john kerry was saying today. hala gorani, thank you so much. a north carolina city ordinance is pitting charitable work against the law. a group of christian volunteers passes out free breakfast each week to more than 70 homeless people in downtown raleigh. sounds great, doesn't it? but love wins ministry says it was banned by local police from giving out food in a park. and it was told that if it attempted to distribute food volunteers would be arrested. cnn is waiting to hear back from the police department. major nancy mcfarland weighed in on her facebook page saying we will be taking this issue into
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the law. public safety committee immediately to bring all the partners together for a transparent discussion to work out a plan to address the questions surrounding this issue. and to address those questions, let me bring in criminal defense attorney darren kavinoky and former prosecutor, faith jenkins. thanks for being with me, guys. faith, i want to start with you. this group says it's been doing this for six years. it's not like it just started and got in trouble for doing it. why would the police just now decide to enforce this ordinance? >> the group is obviously addressing a need in the community in raleigh on the weekends, according to this group. there's no public place that the homeless can go and actually get meals. there are no meals provided by the government. so the group is going to the park where the homeless gather and they give out meals on the sidewalk. there's an ordinance in place that says you have to have a permit. and the permit requires certain types of inspections in terms of the food that you're providing to give to the homeless. this group believes it's because of some reorganization,
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revitalization of the park that the city wants to do. they want to sort of move the homeless away from this area. and that's the real reason why this ordinance is now all of a sudden being implemented. >> okay. darren, to you now. let's talk about this ordinance. it says no individuals or group shall serve or distribute meals or food of any kind in or on any city park or greenway unless such distribution is pursuant to a permit issued by the parks recreation and greenway director. those permits according to the nonprofit cost 800 bucks. do you think this group has a legitimate case against this ordinance? >> well, i think they do. this story, brianna, is just one of many reasons why people learn to hate lawyers. because the government has a legitimate interest in regulating activities that happen on city property. from a liability standpoint, there are concerns. they certainly have the right to have people have permits to undertake activity there. the city needs to know what's
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going on on city property at all times. and it's that permit system that allows them to do it. the problem is, when people feel like -- like we're dealing with a disenfranchised population already or that this is done for some kind of an ulterior motive to just engage in beatification and moving the homeless people who are so desperately in need out of sight and out of mind, obviously skepticism can brew. so hopefully there really will be a transparent conversation where the legitimate need of this very hurting population can be addressed. >> certainly. 800 bucks for doing a good deed. just kind of seems like a steep price there. stand by. i want to ask you about another controversial case. a 10-year-old girl battling cancer has chosen to stop her chemotherapy. her parents want her on wholistic medications, instead. her doctors are fighting to keep the treatments going. we'll chat about that, next. i've had surgery, and yes, i have occasional constipation.
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the family. but the hospital is appealing. >> her family opted to not continue additional traditional chemotherapy and was seeking more of a wholistic or a natural way of treating this disease. it's our obligation to do what's ethically and legally right by the child. >> so what happens when doctors and parents disagree over potentially life or death decisions? let's talk about that with faith jenkins, criminal lawyer and federal prosecutor. and darren kavinoky, criminal defense attorney. first to you, darren. do parents not have the right to tell doctors how to treat or not treat their child? >> well, generally they do. typically when we see this kind of legal tension arise, it's when very religious folks want to use faith as an alternative to traditional medicine. when the supreme court chimes in as they've only done a few times
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on this very delicate balance, they point out that parents have a right to martyr themselves for any cause they deem appropriate. but they don't have those same rights when it comes to their children. and what's so very difficult about this particular case is that doctors who are opining on it indicate that if this girl is given chemotherapy and traditional medicine, she's got an 85% chance of eradicating the cancer. and if she doesn't go that path, there's a very good chance that she won't live another year. so this is a very extreme case. one that i wouldn't be surprised to see the courts intervening on the child's behalf to force the -- the taking of the medicine. >> okay. faith, to that point, maybe darren just answer third-degree. the family is amish as we have said. they're not citing religion for stopping the chemo. would they have a more legitimate claim if they did? >> not necessarily. the key here is life saving treatment. the courts are going to look at
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this case very carefully. they're going to look at the parents' decision. if they are making a decision that in the end will pose a risk of harm to their child and perhaps prevent her from going on and living a productive life, because doctors are saying she could die within the next year if she does not get this treatment, you're going to see the court perhaps intervene. the parents have argued that their daughter has expressed extreme concern about the pain she's been in since she's been getting chemotherapy. while that may be an issue, children don't necessarily have the long-term perspective in terms of giving their opinion about their treatment because they may take into account the current pain that they're experiencing and not take into account the long-term treatment and perspective about what getting the chemotherapy will do for them. >> the long term consequence. we'll be waiting to see how the courts decide this one, definitely. faith jenkins, darren kavinoky, thanks, guys. >> thanks, brianna. coming up, the "r" rated
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version of hannah montana. you know, if nothing else, miley cyrus certainly has america talking. but what's behind her rather raunchy performance at the mtv video music awards? that's next. i guess you can tell them how much you want to pay and it gives you a range of options to choose from. huh? i'm looking at it right now. oh, yeah? yeah. what's the... guest room situation? the "name your price" tool, making the world a little more progressive.
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trending today, a provocative, controversial, even offensive performance at the mtv video music awards has everyone talking. sound familiar? this time it's not madonna. it's not britney spears. it's miley cyrus who's exposing, you could say, a side of herself we've never seen before during a performance with robin thicke. ♪
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>> all right. let's go ahead now and join the discussion that is just burning up social media. john murray is here in washington. entertainment journalist and editor in chief of alwaysalist.com. what do you think of this. is this a pr stunt or something deeper, maybe more troubling? >> if this performance had a name it would be called hannah montana's musical meltdown. i watched her performance last night like i watch most horror films. with my hands over my eyes. i don't know if you've seen the photos circling on social media of will smith's kids jaden and willow. but they were horrified. they look like the "home alone" kids sitting in the audience. like the deconstruction of miley cyrus. it was really kind of frightening to watch. >> okay. i was sort of fascinated by this. because she doesn't dance that great, let's be honest. it was a whole lot of, like, her gene simmons length tongue and a lot of gross stuff going on. but i want to talk to you about something that her dad, singer
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billy ray cyrus, tweeted out. i mean, what the heck was he thinking? he tweeted last night, thanking god for s many blessings tonight. continue to pray for world peace. more love, less hate. i mean, this is so disconnected from what was happening last night. >> absolutely. clearly, his twitter timeline must have been flooded with all the people who were outraged by the performance. but at the end of the performance, her mother stood up and gave her a standing ovation. listen, i know parents across the country are making sure their daughters are going to bible class and sunday school this week because this was a cautionary guide. my daughters, this is what we don't want you to do. i mean, the aqua colored flesh outfit. on social media they have photos with her next to the purdue chicken and her backside. that's not what you want to happen after a national televised performance. these performances are supposed to enhance record sales, entice people to want to see you on tour. they're not supposed to give you nightmares, and that's what happened to me last night. >> you said will smith's kids were sortppalled by
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this. i will point out it was the lady gaga performance they were appalled by. i did notice during this one, for instance, drake seemed to be slightly -- everyone felt so awkward. >> the most awkward part is robin thicke is my age. a year older, 36. miley cyrus is 20. when she grabbed his crotch and was doing the hooker gestures, it just made you feel -- it was like the dirty old man thing was happening on television. it was like you wanted to take a shower afterwards. it was very uncomfortable. >> yeah. it really was. john murray, thanks so much. coming up, she is the little girl who grabbed the nation's attention with her heart wrenching story. doctors said that sarah murnaghan needed a lung transplant to survive. well, she got one just in the nick of time and now could go home as early as tomorrow. cnn's jason carroll talked exclusively to the 11-year-old about her unbelievable strength through this very tough time. >> every time i face things,
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that i thought were going to be hard, and then i've done them. aaaaah! theres a guy on the window! do something, dad! aaaah! aaaah! what is happening? they're rate suckers. their bad driving makes car insurance more expensive for the rest of us. good thing there's snapshot from progressive. snap it in and get a discount based on your good driving. stop paying for rate suckers. try snapshot free at progressive.com. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me. the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first. it's mine. i called about that one. it's mine. customers: [ echoing ] it's mine, mine, mine. it's mine! no it's not! it's mine! better get going. it's the chevy labor day sale. [ male announcer ] the chevy labor day sale. just announced: $500 labor day cash now through september 3rd
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this is a week the family of
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sara murnaghan has waited for for a long time. the 11-year-old is getting ready to leave children's hospital as early as tomorrow after undergoing two lung transplants. her parents waged a fierce public battle to change organ donation rules. it's a much different scene there and two months ago when sarah, who has had cystic fibrosis since birth was, in dire shape after being on the waiting list for pediatric lungs for months. >> reporter: her voice barely a whisper temperature sara murnaghan's strength comes in knowing she has made it this far. >> yes, much better, much better. >> reporter: do you feel like you're a tough little girl? >> yes, very. >> reporter: you do. can you tell me why?
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>> because every time i face things that i thought were going to be hard and then i've done them. >> reporter: sarah survived two lung transplants and can breathe without an oxygen machine. the 11-year-old's fight for lungs changed at least for now the national policy so-called under 12 rules, a rule that gav adult lungs. there were moments the family thought they would -- >> she said i didn't want to tell you i was dying. i didn't want to upset you. >> now sarah is finally scheduled to go home. >> what would you like to do when you go home? >> i would like to play with my brothers and sister. >> reporter: her sister, two brothers and cousins all
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waiting. >> i love you. >> reporter: sarah has a message of her own about her prognosis. >> i'm not going for easy. >> reporter: you're not going for easy? >> i'm just going for possible. and what is in front of me right now is possible. >> she knows it's not easy but there's so much you can do if you persevere. >> reporter: it will be a long road to recovery but she is on her way. >> i really know it was a miracle. >> wow, wise beyond her years there in that interview that she did with you, jason carroll. can you talk a little bit about her recovery process and what's ahead for her? >> look, it's going to be a long road for recovery, no question about that. she's going to have to learn to do some things like walking for example. her muscles have gotten weak so she's going to have to learn to rewalk.
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there's other therapeutic and occupational therapy things she'll have to go through. we're looking at six to nine months before she can go back to class again. the point is she has gotten this far and her family is thankful for that. >> she said it's not easy but it looks like it is possible and we certainly wish sarah the best of luck. great story. thank you so much. >> now this. you heard of drive-in movies. well, you're looking at sex drive-ins. you heard right. customers can drive up and order a sex worker. not only is it legal, it's actually a government program. we'll tell you where next. the . here we honor the proud accomplishments of our students and alumni. people like, maria salazar, an executive director at american red cross. or garlin smith, video account director at yahoo. and for every garlin, thousands more are hired by hundreds of top companies. each expanding the influence of our proud university of phoenix network. that's right, university of phoenix.
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. well, this may sound incredible but in switzerland drive-in sex shops are now open for business. this is zurich. you can see signs saying "stop aids." these taxpayer funded garages are to reduce street walkers and protect prostitutes from violent clients. they have alarm buttons and have social workers available for hookers who want out of the business. >> and scary moments on pit road. check out what happened on sunday's indy car race in california. a crew member there carrying a tire for driver will power got clipped by the car driven by scott dixon. two others were injured in this chain reaction. now, dixon was in the lead at
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the time but he was later penalized and will power ended up winning the race. thanks so much for watching. i'm brianna keilar and "the lead" starts right now with john berman. is a u.s. strike on syria now a forgone conclusion? i'm john berman and this is "the lead." the world lead, undeniable. that's the word secretary of state john kerry just used to describe the suspected chemical attack in syria. the question now, is the president going to act? the national lead. 150,000 acres and growing fast. a massive wildfire burning through one of our natural wonders, imposing a serious threat to life back here in civilization. and the sports lead. new jersey governor chris christie getting his howard stern on, taking over the airwaves and hosting a sports radio show.